Woodworking Tools Videos

Making Raised Panels

raised panel bitsHalf the fun of making doors is deciding what kind of panel to use with them, and the list is endless. Once you have conquered making door frames or more specifically, cabinet door frames making the panels to go in them is often far less challenging. In our video we show how to make raised panels but this is only one of many possibilities. I have seen fabric panels, mirror panels, clear glass panels, stained glass panels and many varieties of simply plain panels of different specialty woods.

Making raised panels appeals to a large number of people because they are one of the "traditional" panels that are used in furniture and cabinet making, particularly kitchen cabinets. By mixing and matching wood some very striking alternatives are possible.

Making raised panels on a router is not difficult but there are some basic rules and techniques to follow. First and most importantly be sure to invest in a good quality panel cutting bit. Of course it will need to be carbide tipped but should also have the blade at a shear angle to make a better cut of the wood and to save wear and tear on your router. Freud bits are an excellent selection for raised panel bits.

Once you have decided on the type of wood you are going to use for the raised panels you will need to know 2 things, 1) what is the moisture content of the wood? and 2) what is the "wood movement" or wood expansion going to be for the wood and the environment that the cabinet will be in.

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Bandsaw Setup and Tuning

band saw setupBand saws are one of the safer woodworking tools and because they are so versatile, they are also one of the most popular tools. A band saw can make cross cuts as well as ripping cuts and of course all sorts of round and semi round cuts. And one of the most popular uses of band saws is in cutting thin strips of wood or veneers, that are used to enhance many woodworking projects.

But band saws have one inherent problem, and that problem is that most of them will tend to "drift" when they are cutting through wood. What this means is that if you are ripping a piece of wood, and following a marked line, there is a very good chance your band saw will develop a mind of it's own and start cutting off that line. This drift is caused by a variety of elements like the grain of the wood, they type band saw blade you are using (and how sharp it is), the tension on the blade and even whether or not the blade is running true on the 2 band saw wheels. It is often possible to reduce drift but in most cases you have to learn which way your band saw will drift and take that into account when you are cutting wood.

Another inherent feature of all band saws, particularly when they are ripping wood, is that at the beginning of the cut the saw will cut quickly but as it is cutting through the wood the speed at which the wood is cut is noticeably slowed.  Again this is typical of almost every band saw, small or large, so if you find this happening with your saw ... it is not "your saw" it is all saws that have this quirk.

Setting up a band saw is an important step in order to get the best cuts and help preserve the life of your blades and your saw. It is important that power to the saw be turned off before any setup is attempted. The first step is to set the BLADE TENSION, which, on most 2 wheel band saws is done by RAISING the top wheel with the appropriate adjustment knob or wheel on your band saw ....

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Making a Sandpaper Storage Cabinet

Sanding is one of the necessary but often most hated parts of woodworking. I have seen many different woodworkers go to great lengths to try to avoid sanding and sandpaper ... and I'm one of them. I know how important sanding is because I can see and feel the results on my projects, I just HATE sanding ... the noise ... the dust ... the repeated sandings and most of all the trying to sort out my pile of sandpaper grits, all contribute to this dreaded job.
I don't have any fancy sanding machines so all my sanding is done by hand and almost always outside so I can keep the dust away from  my lungs and the rest of the shop.

Today I have decided to at make a new effort at trying to organize my sanding sheets, sanding discs and my sharpening sheets. I store these in all different locations then have trouble finding them so end up leaving them all piled on a small shelf in front of what is my slot shelves for sand paper. It's just not working.

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Setting Jointer Knives

Setting jointer knives appears to be universally every woodworkers worst duty. When I talk to woodworkers, the one thing they hate doing most is setting jointer knives (although many also hated setting planer knives, but that`s another article).

One of the biggest problems is many did not know what height the knives should be set at. Many woodworkers believed that jointer knives should be set at the exact height of the outfeed table. Which in theory would be correct but in practice is not the best idea. I even had some woodworkers who adamantly believed the jointer knives should be even with the infeed table. This is the WORST thing you can do if you EVER want to get straight, flat boards.

If you set jointer knives BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE OUTFEED TABLE, the boards you run through your planer will be bowed like the lower runners of a rocking chair. The more you run them through the jointer the more bowed they will get ... to the point, the only way to correct the bowing is to mark a straight line down the length of the board and run the board through a table saw - freehand. THEN adjust your jointer knives correctly and start all over again runing the board through the jointer.


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